Monday, December 12, 2011

I Like to Break My Leg!

Those of you who aren't southerners might not have heard the expression "like to" in place of the more grammatically correct "almost" or "just about" with the past tense of the verb.  In this case, "I like to break my leg" translates as "I just about broke my leg".  One of my favorite stories comes from talking with a new hire from upstate New York (long ago, but not that far away) who said someone had come up to him and said, "I like to break to my leg".  On his first job in the south, he had no idea what the guy was telling him.  He didn't know if he should say, "my, what a strange hobby" or - if the guy had said, "I would like to break my leg" - he should have said, "help yourself, but try not to make a mess".  Seeing the perplexed look on the new guy's face, the southerner said, "no, I like to break my leg over there" and showed the newbie a tripping hazard in his work area that the newbie should get fixed. 

So yesterday, I like to break my leg.  I was doing some work on a surface that was not very stable but fairly slippery and fell in such a way as to smash the middle of my left shin on the edge of a metal box.  Almost instantly, it popped up to the size of a hamster under the skin on the front of my shin.  While I thought it might be broken, by the time a few hours of ice packs, elevation, and compression were done with, I became convinced it wasn't anything that required a trip to the doc.  It actually isn't that bad to walk on now. 

But I have refreshed my understanding of another saying: "that's gonna leave a mark".


1 comment:

taylor said...

I dunno...I always hear the saying with a being verb in there. Thusly: "I'm like to break my leg" or "I was like to break my neck" or even "You're like to piss ol' boy off".

Maybe its different in texas than tennessee tho